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Monday Sep 16 2019

Two UK forensic firms authenticate Judge Arshad Malik’s videos

Two leading audio video forensic firms have authenticated the audios, videos and transcripts of judge Arshad Malik’s videos and audios for Pakistan courts – recorded secretly by PML-N UK’s Senior Vice President Nasir Butt.

The News has learnt from credible sources familiar with the case of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif that the two digital forensic expert firms, working separately, have confirmed in their notes addressed to Pakistani courts that the videos and audios made by Nasir Butt are genuine, original and the contents have not been tampered with or altered at any stage.

This is the same conclusion that Pakistani investigators have privately arrived that Judge Arshad Malik’s secret video contents have not been edited or impacted upon in any form. Both firms were instructed by Nasir Butt to also provide transcript of the videos and audios.

Judge Arshad Malik’s video caused a storm in Pakistan after PML-N released part of the videos – withholding six out of total seven videos – in which the former accountability court judge has admitted that he was blackmailed and pressurised to give verdict against Nawaz Sharif in order to jail him. Nasir Butt, the British national PML-N leader, who reached London three days before the video was made public, made the videos.

When approached, both forensic firms refused to comment but a source at one of the firms confirmed that it was instructed to carry out independent forensic examination of two phone devices, both Samsung phones. One Samsung device only had audio of judge Arshad Malik on it and the other phone had both audio and video.

This correspondent has learnt that no other covert recording device – hidden camera or audio device – was used to record Judge Arshad Malik. On the phone used by Nasir Butt, while sitting next to Judge Arshad Malik, audio of the judge was recorded while an accomplice of Nasir Butt, sitting opposite, used front pocket of his jacket to make the video through Samsung phone.

It’s understood that both firms kept the two mobile phone devices for a week each in their possession during the preparation of forensic report. According to a trusted source, the phones have now been kept in the locker of Nasir Butt’s English lawyer who has written to the court confirming the same and its on his lawyer’s advice the phones will not be handed over to anyone else and will not be sent to Pakistan.

Digital forensic experts of both firms have expressed willingness that they will provide expert witness testimonies of the forensic work they have carried out before any court of law if required. A source said that one report is around 35 pages and the other is over 40 pages. The source said forensic reports of all videos and audios of Judge Arshad Malik and Nasir Butt have been obtained but this week only one video’s forensic reports will be submitted before the court by Khawaja Harris’ legal team – it’s the video which was released and made public by PML-N’s leadership. Six other videos remain out of public eye and only a few people have seen full contents of these videos.

The sources have said that two forensic firms have been used to establish before the courts of Pakistan that the videos are genuine and forensic examination carried out by the firms known for their professional work for both defence and criminal prosecution services in Britain as well for other court disputes in which independent reports of independent forensic experts are relied upon. In their notes to Pakistani authorities, both firms have provided full details of how they use latest forensic softwares to provide complete and thorough forensic analysis including enhancement of audio and video evidence to ensure that it is clearly presented before the courts or investigators.

The News approached Nasir Butt for a comment but he refused to comment citing legal advice not to speak on this matter.